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A Duck-Shaped Octopus: A Family's Journey Through Childhood Cancer

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Roanne Barnes Hautapu
May 2024

Expected release date is 5th May 2024

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In 2013 Quinn Hautapu presented to hospital with the seemingly minor symptom of a limp arm, within a short time she was on a Life Flight to Wellington to work out the cause of a massive bleed on the brain. She was seven years old. A month later, after brain surgery and numerous scans, the Hautapu family was given the shocking news that Quinn had brain cancer. What followed was 12 months of the most intense, emotional and difficult time that a family can experience. From further brain surgery to remove a tumour, to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and physical therapy, Quinn spent most of the next year in and out of Starship Hospital, while her family moved into Ronald McDonald House close by. They were away from their Palmerston North home for most of the year. The entire time it was uncertain if Quinn would survive. In a day-by-day journal, Quinn's mother, Roanne Barnes Hautapu, has written a profoundly moving account of what the family went through, expressing the overwhelming trauma and gruelling realities of dealing with childhood cancer.